Visions from the Valley: Donald Moore ed 2001 (Poetry)

Vision Of The Valley

by Margaret on June 19, 2001

‘VISIONS FROM THE VALLEY: Poetry Of The Hunter Valley, 1960-2000’(2001)
Ed. by Donald Moore
ISBN 0 9577330 3 8

Dr Moore, once executive of an international textiles organisation, chose the works in this definitive anthology of the voices and visions of seventy-nine Hunter Valley poets over forty years. Who would you expect to star in such a collection? T.H. Jones (Harri), from the sixties? Roland Robinson, from the seventies and eighties? Robin Loftus or Jean Kent, in the nineties? Jean and Norman Talbot, who have been in the valley almost all those forty years? Or younger writers like Judy Johnson? Or someone from that heterogeneous mob Poetry at the Pub? They’re all here, with old friends, and others you will never have met before. Indeed, there are poets included who now are living in every Australian state, and in the ACT; and a handful of them have proved very hard to trace!

This exhilarating exploration of the extraordinarily diverse literary history and artistic achievement of our valley proves that poetry can still be fun, can still touch, intrigue, and inspire its readers into recognition. The evocations of life in the Valley begin with a 1963 beach poem, almost inevitably, but we soon realise that it is just as inevitable that there are lake and mountain poems, wine and cattle poems, and equally unmistakable coal and steel poems—genuinely “pop-rivetting poetry”, as one reviewer describes the book. The winning cover-design, with a few mighty Pegasus-feathers floating down upon a beautiful upper-Hunter landscape, is by Josh Vincent, and illustrations to individual poems are by the other brilliant young designers and artists who stood out in the competition sponsored by Catchfire Press.

The launching, in July 2001, by John Kilpatrick, the Lord Mayor of Lake Macquarie City, in the City Council Chambers, was followed over several weeks by the performances of different groups of the poets included, in the Libraries of Toronto and Belmont, and in the Art Galleries of Maitland City and the University of Newcastle.

235 pages, r.r.p. $5.95

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